Amazon Underground

All hail our new free-to-play overlord: Amazon…?

Seems that way. Its newest thing is called Amazon Underground, and it offers totally free access to games and other Android apps for smart devices. Yes, totally free — as in no microtransactions, even in games that normally have them, as well as access to normally paid non-gaming apps like OfficeSuite Professional 8.

So how’s that work? Amazon pays the software maker a small amount of money — $0.0020, or one-fifth of a cent — for each minute their app is run by a customer. Good deal for the developer, good deal for consumers… but how does Amazon profit? There are a few ads when you launch stuff, but that’s it.

Oh, and the Underground app apparently asks for just a few permissions (Image courtesy this article):

Amazon Underground Permissions

So yeah, that’s a little off-putting.

Still, if money is your only concern, Amazon Underground seems to offer actually free gaming and other stuff. You have to think that other service providers, like Steam or GoG, are watching this situation very closely to see how it goes. If enough people like it, don’t be surprised if something similar is implemented in other places.

If you have an Android device and give Underground a shot, we’d like to hear what you think!

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.


    • Assuming your phone is rooted you can block the large majority of overly intrusive permissions in the list, (and Google is already starting to push out Permission Managers in Android M) Also I’m pretty sure those permissions are actually just a bulk list of what the available apps the service offers would ask for.

  1. Oh and for the ones worried about privacy if you’ve ever signed up for facebook or google they both admittedly track much more about users than simply what products they like. Amazon only tracks stuff related to business which is fine by me. Better that than having them pay people to read my messages and browsing habits. Far less creepy imo.

  2. Actually I’ve been saying for a long time that this is a good idea. I’d be more than willing to pay a monthly fee to have access to a huge variety of online games even if it were $20 instead of the usual 10-15 since I tend to bounce between games. It would avert a lot of pay to win elements and i don’t mind if the games still had certain limited cosmetics to sell on the side. The main thing would be unlimited content access without buying power to compete. The first to offer this was soe, if i’d liked more of their games i’d have celebrated but of the three i liked two were scrapped just after it started its course. I am for this on pc if they want to start an initiative to bring devs into the fold to get rid of the elements that give free to play a bad rep.


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